Johannesburg - Member of the EFF Mzwanele Manyi has called for BRICS rules to be upheld to ensure that Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the upcoming 15th BRICS Summit in South Africa next month.
Manyi was reacting to news that Putin will no longer be coming to the summit after a phone call with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Yesterday, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya confirmed that Russian leader would no longer be coming to South Africa.
In a statement, Magwenya said that Ramaphosa and Putin had agreed that he would no longer be attending the summit and would instead be represented by foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
“President Ramaphosa has confirmed South Africa’s readiness to host the historic 15th summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) nations.
“It will be the first summit hosted in person since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent global restrictions.”
This comes after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant of arrest for the Russian leader, who is accused of having committed war crimes in the conflict with Ukraine.
Manyi said: “In 2010, the Fifa World Cup was hosted in South Africa. Although South Africa was the host country, Fifa rules ruled supreme.
“Similarly, in August 2023, whereas the BRICS Summit will be held in South Africa, BRICS rules should rule supreme.
BRICS is not a signatory of the ICC,” Manyi said on social media.
Putin’s withdrawal from the summit comes just days after Ramaphosa, in his confidential affidavit, indicated that arresting Putin in the country would be a declaration of war with Russia.
Ramaphosa also told the Gauteng High Court that South Africa does not have the capacity or appetite to wage war with Russia and Putin.
Two months ago, Ramaphosa appointed Deputy President Paul Mashatile to lead a task team looking into options for South Africa ahead of Putin’s arrival in the country to attend the BRICS Summit next month.
According to media reports, Ramaphosa had convinced Putin to stay home in Russia, as this was the only safe option to avert this impending ICC arrest.
The ICC’s warrant of arrest issued in March continues to put the ruling party and government in a difficult position.
President of the EFF’s student command, Sihle Lonzi, said Ramaphosa had failed to act like a true statesman when he allowed the potential of Putin’s arrest to persuade him to allow the Russian leader to withdraw from the summit.
“Ramaphosa will be remembered as a generational and geopolitical coward by the BRICS block.
“Putin must never rub shoulders with such a political wimp, whose foreign policy is dictated by the West and America.
“No sense of sovereignty. No backbone,” Lonzi said.
The ANC said that it was unfair for South Africa to be pushed to decide whether Putin could or could not attend the Summit.
The ANC’s first deputy secretary-general, Nomvula Mokonyane, was speaking on the sidelines of the BRICS Political Party Plus Dialogue taking place in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, where more than 50 political parties from various countries across the globe gathered to discuss BRICS and Africa and their partnership for mutually accelerated growth, sustainable development, and inclusive growth.